The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace

The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace

by John Paul Lederach
     
 

John Paul Lederach's work in the field of conciliation and mediation is internationally recognized. He has provided consultation, training, and direct mediation in a range of situations from the Miskito/Sandinista conflict in Nicaragua to Somalia, Northern Ireland, Tajikistan, and the Philippines. His influential 1997 book Building Peace has become a classic in the… See more details below

Overview

John Paul Lederach's work in the field of conciliation and mediation is internationally recognized. He has provided consultation, training, and direct mediation in a range of situations from the Miskito/Sandinista conflict in Nicaragua to Somalia, Northern Ireland, Tajikistan, and the Philippines. His influential 1997 book Building Peace has become a classic in the discipline.

In this book, Lederach poses the question, "How do we transcend the cycles of violence that bewitch our human community while still living in them?" Peacebuilding, in his view, is both a learned skill and an art. Finding this art, he says, requires a worldview shift. Conflict professionals must envision their work as a creative act-an exercise of what Lederach terms the "moral imagination." This imagination must, however, emerge from and speak to the hard realities of human affairs. The peacebuilder must have one foot in what is and one foot beyond what exists. The book is organized around four guiding stories that point to the moral imagination but are incomplete. Lederach seeks to understand what happened in these individual cases and how they are relevant to large-scale change. His purpose is not to propose a grand new theory. Instead he wishes to stay close to the "messiness" of real processes and change, and to recognize the serendipitous nature of the discoveries and insights that emerge along the way.

Like most professional peacemakers, Lederach sees his work as a religious vocation. Lederach meditates on his own calling and on the spirituality that moves ordinary people to reject violence and seek reconciliation. Drawing on his twenty-five years of experience in the field he explores the evolution of his understanding of peacebuilding and points the way toward the future of the art.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199747580
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
08/26/2010
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
343,963
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

1. On Stating the Problem and Thesis
2. On Touching the Moral Imagination: Four Stories
3. On This Moment: Turning Points
4. On Simplicity and Complexity: Finding the Essence of Peacebuilding
5. On Peace Accords: Image of a Line in Time
6. On the Gift of Pessimism: Insights from the Geographies of Violence
7. On Aesthetuics: The Art of Social Change
8. On Space: Life in the Web
9. On Mass and Movement: The Theory of the Critical Yeast
10. On Web Watching: Finding the Soul of Place
11. On Serendipity: The Gift of Accidental Sagacity
12. On Time: The Past That Lies before Us
13. On Pied Pipers: Imagination and Creativity
14. On Vocation: The Mystery of Risk
15. On Conclusions: The Imperative of the Moral Imagination

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